Jack the Ripper

Arguably the most notorious serial killer of all time, in 1888 Jack the Ripper brutally murdered and mutilated five prostitutes around the Whitechapel area of London. The savage nature of the crimes, as well as Jack’s habit of sending taunting letters to the police, led to a frenzied interest in the case, but the killer was never apprehended. Theories still swirl about Jack’s true identity, but it’s unlikely that the truth will ever be known.

Geraldine Kelly

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In late 2004, as 54-year-old Geraldine Kelly lay dying of cancer, she confessed to her daughter that she had murdered her husband 14 years previously. Kelly’s confession included the location of the body – a freezer inside a storage unit in Boston – where it had been since shortly after the murder. Police recovered the body, but were unable to conclusively establish a cause of death.

Harold Shipman

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Nicknamed ‘Dr. Death’ by the media, Harold Shipman murdered over 200 of his patients across a 30-year period, administering a lethal dose of drugs that made it seem like his elderly victims had died of natural causes. Shipman only got caught after he tried to create a fake will, raising enough suspicion to launch an investigation that ultimately brought his killing spree to an end. Facing life in prison with no hope of parole, Shipman hanged himself in his cell.

Casey Anthony


When Casey Anthony was acquitted in the trial of her three-year-old daughter’s murder, there was an outpouring of shock and fury. Caylee – Anthony’s daughter – had been missing for over 31 days before her body was found, time which Anthony spent partying, participating in Hot Body competitions and generally failing to care about the fact that her toddler was nowhere to be found. Despite prosecutors presenting over 200 pieces of evidence implicating Anthony, jurors took just over an hour to acquit her.

The Doodler

A San Francisco-based serial killer, The Doodler made up for his less than sinister nickname with a horrifying body count, claiming the lives of at least 14 gay men between 1974 and 1975. The Doodler got his moniker from his habit of sketching his victims before stabbing them to death. Due to the stigma surrounding homosexuality in the 70s, police had a hard time getting anyone to talk, and the killer was never apprehended.

Axeman of New Orleans

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The Axeman of New Orleans was a serial killer who targeted Italian immigrants in the Louisiana city between 1918 and 1919, and there are no prizes for guessing his murder weapon of choice. The Axeman’s motives were bizarre to say the least, with one letter he sent to the police claiming that he’d “spare no one who plays jazz music at home.” Over the course of his yearlong reign of terror, The Axeman claimed the lives of at least six people and seriously wounded six others.

Robert Blake

A successful Hollywood actor with a distinguished career, Robert Blake was charged in 2002 with the murder of Bonnie Lee, his second wife, and his acquittal is widely considered a serious miscarriage of justice. Despite the fact that two separate witnesses testified that Blake had sought their help in killing Bonnie Lee – allegedly Blake wanted to be free of a loveless marriage – a jury ultimately decided that it couldn’t be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the veteran actor had been involved in the slaying.

Arthur Leigh Allen

Unfortunately for fans of the theory that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer, circumstantial evidence strongly points to Arthur Leigh Allen. Amongst other things, the attacks happened a short distance from his house, the letters the killer sent to the police were typed on the same brand of typewriter that he owned and one of the victims who survived an attack that fit the Zodiac’s MO picked him out of a lineup. Despite never proving his suspicions, the lead detective on the case remained convinced that Allen was the killer, saying “I knew it was him the moment he walked through the door”.

The Babysitter

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A truly nightmarish serial killer, the Babysitter exclusively targeted children. After kidnapping his victims he would look after them for days before bathing them, dressing them and finally smothering them to death. The bodies were all found ritualistically posed in various locations around Oakland County. Despite an extensive investigation, the Babysitter was never brought to justice and remains at large to this day.

Al Capone

One of the most infamous gangsters in American history, Al Capone secured his position at the top of Chicago’s criminal underworld through the use of extraordinary violence. Capone ruthlessly orchestrated the deaths of anyone who stood in his way, and he was personally involved in dozens of slayings. The authorities were never able to make any serious charges stick, but they did eventually manage to bring him down for tax evasion.